Two Grinnellians awarded Watsons
Two Grinnell College seniors have been awarded prestigious Watson Fellowships for one year of independent study and travel abroad. Linn Davis '08, a history major from Milwaukie, Ore., and Graciela Paz Arias '08, a psychology major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, are among only 50 students nationwide to be awarded a $25,000 fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.
Davis, who studied in Senegal last year, plans to use the Watson Fellowship to study how journalists in India and South Africa use investigative journalism to hold governments accountable.
At Grinnell, Davis has been involved in newspaper, radio, student government, performing arts, and campus environmental and political advocacy. He has also helped found an activist resource center and a campaign to encourage more socially responsible investment strategies in the management of the college's endowment.Paz Arias' Watson proposal was to create a photographic essay of South American countries featured in "Motorcycle Diaries" a book by socialist revolutionary Che Guevara, with comparisons between the 1950s Latin America described in the book and the continent today. At Grinnell, she has served as a peer career adviser and technology consultant, Spanish tutor, and secretary of the psychology honor society.
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent exploration and travel outside of the U.S. to foster effective participation in the world community. Within the past 10 years, more than a dozen Grinnell students have won Watson Fellowships.